Former president finishing duties

Keith Kaczmarek, Reporter

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If you’ve been walking around campus and noticed that former Bakersfield College president Greg Chamberlain is still working here, you are not hallucinating.

Chamberlain has a temporary office on campus and is finishing projects like the school’s self-evaluation for BC’s state accreditation happening this year.

Chamberlain has also been helping ease the transition to the interim president Robert Jensen.

“I’ve met several times with him to hand off projects to him. I will have some projects assigned by him and the chancellor,” Chamberlain said.

He later added, “We are very fortunate to have Dr. Jensen. His experience is vast, and we are very fortunate to have him to push us up.”

During this transition period, Chamberlain is also honing his skills to return to the computer science classes. While not officially scheduled for classes yet, he is exercising the “rights of retreat” in his contract that allows him to return to teaching classes next semester to his former position of tenured professor.

Chamberlain is thrilled to be getting back to his roots as a front-line educator.

“I’ve been accused of skipping down the hallways,” he said.

Returning to the classroom will mean a cut in pay of around $80,000 a year, but to this Chamberlain replied, “I don’t know anyone who comes to the community college for the money.”

With Chamberlain’s children leaving university this year or next year, he says that his personal finances won’t suffer for the cut in income. His years of experience already put him in the top income grade for BC professors, roughly $107,000 a year.

Chamberlain leaves the school administration in the midst of harsh budget cuts, but he cites the fiscal conservatism of the Board and chancellor for keeping BC on the right track.

“It certainly paid off for the college. There are colleges trying to make cuts in mid-year,” he said. “When we budgeted for this, we budgeted for these cuts to be there.”

That being said, Chamberlain sees more changes on the horizon. “There are going to be some significant changes to California community colleges, not just here,” he said.

He also thinks there will be strong candidates for the new president, and that the school has a chance to come out of the state’s budget crisis even stronger.

“This is a fiscally strong school with a strong chancellor and board. There will be strong candidates coming here.”

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